03-14-2011 11:44 AM
A couple of our offices use Salaesforce.com and have showed me an advantage of their system. They are able to incorporate lists of prospects into a "queue" for telemarketing. Once someone contacts a prospect, with one touch of a button they incorporate the prospect into the main contact database and start updating the record. This saves a lot of data entry. The only way I can think of emulating this in ACT! is to create a separate prospecting database and import all the lists here. The telemarketers would use this list and convert the records when they contact them. Once this happens, the record would get manually imported into the working contact database later. This is pretty clunky since we don't give import privileges to our brokers. The other thing is that brokers might have to keep open and closing databases to go back and forth. Again, clunky.
Any suggestions on how to better emulate this feature. If our folks can spend less time opening databases and flipping back and forth, they can make more calls.
03-14-2011 11:59 AM - edited 03-14-2011 12:00 PM
That is a nice feature. One possible way to use this is ACT! is to use the ID/Status field to indicate they are a prospect. Then use a Group to group all prospects together, using the ID/Status field as dynamic membership criteria for the group. Once they become "active", change the ID/Status field to something else and this will remove them from the group. The contacts would still need to be in the active database, but you can see who they are by looking at the group members. If needed you can have a separate group for each salesperson's or territory's prospects. Please reply here if you have any questions on this...it is fairly simple to set up and maintain.
Note: Effective 6/1/13, Sage no longers provides support for the Act! software. This is now provided by Swiftpage.
03-14-2011 01:20 PM
Changing the ID/Status is exactly what I was thinking as the way to convert the prospect. However, I think prospects would need to be in a separate database. In some cases these lists could be pretty large and most of the prospects wouldn't get converted to contacts. Your main database would then get pretty unwieldy and loaded mostly leads which aren't used. That's the value (I think) in Salesforce of having this holding area. If that is the case, the issue becomes how to easily move the prospects into the main database when they go active.
03-14-2011 01:29 PM
With the ACT! program using a SQL database, the number of total records is much less important. You could also add another ID Status of to be deleted for prospects you want to discard and then periodaically delete those contact records.
03-16-2011 12:37 PM
Thanks for the response and sorry about the belated reply. I agree that a large SQL database might still be OK from an access perspective. However, where it gets tough is the links to Outlook address books which might become unwieldy. I'm partial to keeping our working database relatively small and the prospect database larger. In thinking about it more, I would still have the potential address book issues with the large prospect database too.
03-17-2011 10:18 AM
List management is more the preserve of mid-range CRM solutions and in the Sage stable, Sage CRM provides for that.
Not knowing the finer details of the Salesforce offering I would be interested to know what tier you have to subscribe to to get the feature you describe.
I understand the need to have separation of leads from the main database with easy selective inclusion. It provides for efficiency and makes maintaining the database more manageable as the business grows. As good as ACT! is for the market it serves I wouldn't expect Sage to be planning for it in ACT!.
One option would be to use an API (application programming interface) for ACT!, to enable the lead database source to readily update ACT! without need for an import process, however some development would be required to do this. The ultimate outcome is that you would pay less for an ACT! solution with an API in the longer term than a continuous monthly subscription to Salesforce. Refer to XData API for ACT!